Titani Del Nord Neapolitan Mastiffs

Let’s Talk Colour!

As a breeder, the colour of a litter isn’t nearly as important as choosing a male that compliments the female and will hopefully correct any faults she has in the puppies they produce. But, if I have a few males that equally compliment my female, it’s nice to know what colours they will produce.

If you’re a puppy buyer it’s nice to have an idea of what colours the litter will produce too. Not all breeders will be able to tell you for certain. Even though the colour may not be important to the breeder, we know that it can be for puppy buyers. Neapolitan mastiffs come in 4 colours: Black, Blue, Mahogany and Tawny

Blue is the dilute of black, and tawny is the dilute of mahogany. Any of these colours can come in brindle (see Ness, our black brindle female below).

Blue        Mahogany    Black     TawnyALT

Black BrindleALT

So here are some basics about colour. There are 2 pigments that make up all of the varieties of colours in dogs. They are eumelanin (black) and phaeomelanin (red). A dogs genes can modify these pigments to make different colours. Eumelanin, which is black by default, can be diluted to make blue (grey), liver (brown) and isabella (pale brown). Phaeomelanin, which is red pigment but is yellow or gold by default, can be changed by genes to make a range of colours from deep reds to orange to yellow or tan. You can tell that there is phaeomelanin pigment if a dog has a brown nose and paws, like in Neapolitan Mastiffs that are mahogany and tawny. The genes that change the colour of the pigment is called an allele. The alleles in Neo’s are:

B - black b - brown

D - full colour d - diluted colour

BBDD - black

BBDd - black carrying dilute gene

BbDD - black carrying brown allele

BbDd - black carrying brown and dilution alleles

BBdd - blue

Bbdd - blue carrying brown allele

bbdd - tawny

bbDD - mahogany

bbDd - mahogany carrying dilute allele

Below is a chart that shows you what happens when you breed dogs with different colour genes.

In breeds like dobermans, dilution can cause the health issue colour dilution alopecia. Fortunately, all colours of neapolitan mastiffs seem to be equally healthy.

https://www.vetgen.com/documents/CoatColorInheritanceChartbandd.pdf Keelalavers1995 / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Neapolitan_Mastiff_puppies.png

Posted 197 weeks ago

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